Delmark Singles ~ ~ Mike Wheeler and Sheryl Youngblood
Trying to get caught up on all the great CDs and downloads that came across my desk during the holidays. I'm afraid I came down with "goofoffitis" and didn't get much done. Oh well, chalk it down to learning what not to do for next year. All I can say is Santa Blues was very busy spreading blues music far and wide.
There are two Delmark singles that slipped past me during this time, and I want to correct that mistake right now. The first is a live recording of Mike Wheeler taking on John Lee Hooker's Serves Me Right To Suffer. This one has been covered by a lot of different artists, but Wheeler has found a way to keep it alive and fresh. A couple of reasons for that are stellar guitar work by Dave Specter and some amazing keyboards provided by Roosevelt Purifoy.
Whoever named the backing musicians the "Delmark All-Star Band" Certainly knew what they were talking about as this is one of the tightest groups I've heard in a long time. Wheeler was also on guitar, Larry Williams played bass, and Cleo Cole was on drums. The two of them gave Wheeler such a deep pocket for his vocals that it was a pleasure to hear him sing. The entire performance was recorded during the label's 70th anniversary celebration.
It had to be a helluva show.
Wheeler's voice is versatile and emotive and gives a great performance. Check this one out on your streaming services and hope that Delmark will put out a full album with these performances.
The second single is Sheryl Youngblood performing Every Day of Your Life, which was also recorded at Delmark's 70th anniversary celebration. The same instrumental lineup delivered fabulous backing with Wheeler and Specter trading breaks and Purifoy adding his touches to the song.
Both songs were dedicated to the memory of Jimmy Johnson.
Both of these singles belong in any Chicago style blues lover's collection. And take to heart the message that you should live every day of your life 'cause one day it will come to pass.
Until then, listen to great music. Like these two singles!